May 21, 2011
LA Real Estate Mogul Convicted Of $21m Fraud
"A bankrupt Los Angeles real estate developer has been convicted of stealing some $21 million through a tax shelter scheme. Ezri Namvar was found guilty Thursday of four counts of wire fraud along with a second defendant, 63-year-old Hamid Tabatabai. They could face up to 80 years in federal prison. Namvar, a 59-year-old Brentwood resident, was accused of bilking four people through a company that was supposed to hold their money until it was used for real estate transactions."
Borders seeks to extend restructuring period
"The bookstore chain Borders Group Inc BPIQ.PK on Thursday asked a bankruptcy court judge to extend the time during which it has exclusive rights to propose a reorganization plan to its creditors."
May 20, 2011
Qualified Written Requests - from my new law clerk
12 U.S.C. 2605(e)
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
A borrower may send a “Qualified Written Request” (QWR) to a loan servicer when the borrower believes there is an error in his or her mortgage account. The QWR must: (1) be in writing; (2) include the words “Qualified Written Request”; (3) identify the borrower by name and account number; (4) include the reasons why the borrower believes the account is in error. The QWR must be a separate document, and cannot be written on a payment coupon or medium.
The loan servicer must, either acknowledge receipt or take the action requested, in the QWR within 20 business days. The servicer has 60 days from the date of the request to take the following actions on the QWR. The servicer may either notify the borrower of the errors corrected in the mortgage account, which may include crediting of late charges and penalties, or provide the borrower an explanation of why the servicer believes the account is correct. If the borrower’s QWR was solely for the request of information, the borrower may satisfy section 2605 by providing to the borrower the information requested, or provide an explanation as to why the information requested is not available.
In all of the above circumstances, the servicer must provide the information requested by the borrower and the action taken by the servicer, to the borrower in a written notification which contains the name and telephone number on a representative of a service representative of the servicer, whom the borrower may contact and further discuss the dispute.
During this 60 day period, the servicer is prohibited from providing information relating to the dispute to any consumer reporting agency.
Should the servicer fail to comply with the requirements of section 2605 for the QWR, the borrower may recover actual damages, a maximum of $1000 in additional damages if the borrower can prove a pattern of noncompliance on the part of the servicer, costs and attorneys fees.
Detailed Outline of Code Section:
(e) Duty of Loan Servicer to Respond to Borrower Inquiries
(1) Notice of Receipt of Inquiry
Upon receipt of Qualified Written Request (QWR) by servicer, servicer written acknowledgment of receipt required within 20 days
20 Days Excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays
Unless action requested is done within 20 days
(B) Qualified Written Request
QWR is written correspondence
Not notice on payment coupon/medium
Name and Account of Borrower
Statement of Reasons of borrower’s belief of why account is in error
Sufficient detail regarding other information sought by borrower
(2) Action with Respect to Inquiry
Servicer must do the following within 60 days of receipt of QWR:
(A) Make corrections to account, including:
1. Crediting of late charges or penalties, and
2. Provide to borrower written notification of correction, and
3. Name and phone number of service representative
(B) After investigation, provide to borrower written explanation including:
1. Reasons why servicer believes borrower’s account is correct, and
2. Name and phone number of service representative
(C) After investigation, provide borrower written explanation including:
1. Information requested by borrower, or why information requested is not available by servicer, and
2. Name and phone number of service representative
(3) Protection of Credit Rating
1. During 60 day period, from date of servicer’s receipt of QWR
2. Relating to dispute of borrower’s payments
3. Servicer may not provide information of late payments to any consumer reporting agency
Sample QWR Letter from HUD website
Attention Customer Service:
Subject: [Your loan number]
[Names on loan documents]
[Property and/or mailing address]
This is a "qualified written request" under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
I am writing because:
• Describe the issue or the question you have and/or what action you believe the lender should take.
• Attach copies of any related written materials.
• Describe any conversations with customer service regarding the issue and to whom you spoke.
• Describe any previous steps you have taken or attempts to resolve the issue.
• List a day time telephone number in case a customer service representative wishes to contact you.
I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days.
Written by: Carolyn Afari
May 19, 2011
U.S. Courts Bankruptcy Basics Videos
Helpful videos for debtors from Chapter 13 Trustee Jan Hamilton (Topeka, Kansas).
Orange County Chapter 13 Program
The OCBA Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section Presents:
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
5:00 p.m. Registration/Social
5:30 p.m. Dinner Buffet
6:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Program
Location: The Villa — 510 E. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867
LIFE AFTER CONFIRMATION: CHAPTER 13 POST-CONFIRMATION ISSUES
• Proof of Claims
• Plan Modifications
• Fee Applications
• Other Related Issues
+Honorable Robert N. Kwan
United States Bankruptcy Court, Santa Ana
Chapter 13 Trustee
+Michael D. Franco, Esq.
Law Office of Michael D. Franco
+Misty Perry Isaacson, Esq.
Pagter and Miller
Anerio Altman, Esq., Law Office of Anerio Altman
Kelly H. Zinser, Shareholder, Olenicoff & Zinser, PC
ADVANCED DISCOUNT DEADLINE: May 17, 2011. Standard rates apply for payments received in the OCBA offices after close of business on May 17, 2011. OCBA is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed mail.
ADVANCED DISCOUNT RATE: STANDARD SEMINAR
(payment received by 5/17/11) RATE:
OCBA Member $110 $135
New Admittee Member $100 $125
Law Student Member/Judge $ 75 $100
May 18, 2011
Madoff Trustee Settles Litigation with So-Called Feeder Fund
"The trustee liquidating Bernie Madoff’s firm agreed to not pursue $212 million from two bankrupt funds related to the Fairfield Greenwich Group, the biggest so-called feeder fund in the alleged Ponzi scheme, Bloomberg News reports.
As part of the settlement with the trustee, both funds reduced their claims against the Madoff bankruptcy estate."
May 17, 2011
Maker of crafts sold at Walmart, Jo-Ann files for bankruptcy
"A crafts manufacturer -- which has produced products such as beading for costume jewelry and scrapbooking and album kits that's been sold by Walmart and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores -- filed late last month for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to bankruptcy court documents."